advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

GM: Where “Here to stay” is our
new value prop.

I went out during last weekend’s Cash For Clunkers extravaganza to take advantage of any “great deals,” and it was madness I tell you, madness. Dealers may complain about how the program is being carried out, but it’s clear they’re getting major foot traffic, even rushing to add people to waiting lists before the government’s next $2 billion bailout infusion runs out.

It’s also obvious that if Bob Lutz wants to really make a change with GM, break new ground, push some envelopes, live on some edges, he’ll do something about the stranglehold local dealers have on the industry. Apart from fast food, I don’t know of another industry where there is a bigger disconnect between national advertising campaigns and local messaging because dealers call the shots, not Madison Ave.

Then there’s the actual car buying process. Still sucks. What’s “Here To Stay” is the same old sales process once you set foot in shark-invested dealerships. Salespeople don’t know their inventory, or key features of cars, or details of available financing, or....

You know, the basics consumes care about and that Bob wants GM to focus on in ads. Much as I bitch about the need to reconcile the auto porn that agencies churn out with the realities faced by today’s consumers, the dealer > customer battle needs a major overhaul.

Bob needs to grab strife by the horns and stop worrying about beauty shots of cars nobody wanted. This idea that the brand just doesn’t have the right theme to it and so that’s why nobody’s buying? Or not enough product benefits? Hard to believe he’s falling for the better advertising will save a mediocre product trap.

A classic idea that’s here to stay.

1 comment:

Matt Nelson said...

Reminds me of the Leo Burnett quote: "I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one".

I believe that the time it takes to overhaul a brand is directly correlated with the cost of the item in question. People are much less likely to take a flier on a 5 year investment.